In the spring of 2017, AryaMassarat and MaxTepermeister envisioned EastDorm's first citrus tree. It was to grow multiple varieties of citrus on the same tree through a technique known as grafting, so that it could provide wonderful tasting citrus fruit for generations of Easties. For a short time, the tree was known as the Better than Scripps tree because its caretakers planned for it to grow more citrus varieties than are available on all of Scripps campus.

And the idea was born. By [grafting] budwood from different varieties of citrus onto the same tree, they hoped to create a multi-grafted [citrus "cocktail"]. After pitching the idea during a dorm meeting and requesting funding from the Alumni Board, AryaMassarat purchased a small Meyer Lemon tree from Home Depot with the help of JacobRoth. Together with MaxTepermeister, AndrewMPham, and GiselleSerate, AryaMassarat planted the tree (with the help/approval of F&M) in the courtyard of East.

Budwood was obtained from the [CCPP] at UC Riverside, the only legal place to obtain budwood in California due to a citrus quarantine because of a disease called [citrus greening]. Rock Christiano from the CCPP pointed AryaMassarat towards many helpful resources for learning how to graft and obtain the right citrus varieties.



AryaMassarat, HarryFetsch, FloraXia, MaxTepermeister, AndrewMPham, and GiselleSerate grafted Flame Grapefruit and Cara Cara Navel Orange on two branches of the tree. Both grafts were unsuccessful and died within a few months.

[East Dorm Citrus Tree (first year)]


AryaMassarat, HarryFetsch, FloraXia, MaxTepermeister, AndrewMPham, MacallanPenberthy, and GiselleSerate grafted buds of Cara Cara Navel Orange and Kishu Mandarin on four branches of the tree. A single Navel Orange graft survived but didn't start growing until the following winter. Yay!

[Successfully Grafted Navel Orange]


AryaMassarat, MaxTepermeister, MarzBarnes, CassieRossi, JawaharMadan, and ChristophGaebler grafted 7 buds of [Pixie Mandarin], [Kumquat], and [Finger Lime] on 3 branches of the tree. Additionally, two cleft grafts were performed on two stub-branches at the top of the tree. MacallanPenberthy, JtBooth, and AryaMassarat unwrapped the grafts on 5/5/2019. Both cleft grafts failed, but 3 of the [T-bud grafts] survived, two each of the Finger Lime and one of the Pixie Mandarin. None of the Kumquat grafts survived, although one was still partially green at the time of unwrapping.

At this point, the tree can grow Meyer Lemon, Navel Orange, Pixie Mandarin, and Finger Lime.

Update: A week or two after the unwrapping of those new grafts, nearly all of them dried out and died! In the future, we should wait more than a month (maybe 1.5 or even 2 months) before unwrapping the grafts.


AryaMassarat, MarzBarnes, JasonMisleh, and RyanMartinez grafted 3 buds of [Finger Lime] and 2 buds of [Pixie Mandarin] on 3 branches of the tree (where only one branch had a single variety of Finger Lime) via [T-budding]. They grafted much earlier in the semester than usual, so that they could wait longer before unwrapping and could try again if the grafts failed. The budwood has (and will continue to be) stored in the refrigerator in the meantime.

East Dorm Citrons

East Dorm Citrons are responsible for taking care of the tree throughout the year and over the summer. Duties include pruning, occasionally spraying the tree for bugs, and helping plan the tree's annual graftings. Traditionally, a new frosh joins the team each year.

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Last edited March 9, 2020 0:13 (diff)